3 Easy and Safe Ways to Defrost Your Chicken

Everyone loves chicken and there are many ways to prepare it. What about defrosting chicken before cooking it? Do you know how to defrost chicken correctly? Food-borne illnesses are a real problem worldwide and if the chicken is not defrosted or cooked correctly; it could be leading to some serious health problems. Defrosting a chicken is easy, but it all depends on how much time you have and how you want to prepare it. Read on and learn to defrost chicken in cold water, in the fridge or in the microwave.

Three Ways to Defrost Chicken

In Refrigerator

  • Place the chicken in the refrigerator after removing it from the freezer.
  • Place the chicken on the bottom shelf so the juices don’t spread all over the fridge and contaminate other foods while defrosting.
  • Make sure to place the chicken on a pan or bowl before placing it in the fridge so the excess juices don’t get spread all over the fridge as well.
  • Get to know the time when the chicken will be defrosted. A whole chicken might require up to 24 hours to get correctly thawed, while one pound of chicken requires about 5 hours to be thawed. Plan it in advance.
  • Once the chicken is completely defrosted, remove it from the fridge and cook it. A defrosted chicken will have no ice remaining covering it as well as on the inside.
  • You can save a defrosted chicken in the fridge for up to 2 days.
  • A defrosted chicken should never be frozen again. Instead, you need to throw it away if you didn’t have the time to cook it.

In Cold Water

How to defrost chicken in cold water? Follow these steps:

  • Remove the chicken from the fridge and put it in a large bowl so the chicken can get totally submerged in water.
  • Make sure to wrap your chicken correctly, but you probably did it before freezing it in the freezer. This will prevent the bacteria from spreading around the kitchen.
  • Never use hot water to defrost chicken as it will only contribute to a bacterial growth.
  • Make sure to change the water every 30 minutes.
  • Plan your time ahead. A whole chicken will require about 3 hours to get defrosted this way, while one pound of chicken requires about an hour to get completely defrosted.
  • Cook the chicken immediately as you can’t store it in the fridge or freezer back again.

In Microwave

How to defrost chicken in microwave? Here is the procedure:

  • Remove the chicken from the freezer and unwrap it.
  • Place the chicken in a bowl that can be used in a microwave.
  • Make sure that the bowl is big enough so the chicken can fit and it can prevent the excessive juices from getting all over your microwave.
  • Don’t defrost a whole chicken in a microwave as it will take long, leading to food-borne illnesses easily. The taste and nutritious aspects of the chicken will be taken away as well.
  • If you are not sure about how long you should defrost the chicken in the microwave, you can just give it a try with 2 minutes first, checking the progress afterward.
  • Make sure not to keep the chicken for too long in the microwave so it does not start to get cooked.
  • Cook the chicken immediately as it can’t get stored back in the fridge or freezer if defrosted in microwave.

Can You Cook Chicken in a Frozen State?

If you don’t have time to defrost the chicken correctly before cooking it, it is better to cook it just as it is in a frozen state. However, in these cases, it will take about 50% more time to cook it, compared to the same time if the chicken would have been thawed first.

This method is not bad at all, especially for those type of recipes that need to be cooked slowly and for a longer period of time, such as stews or soups. The only problem with cooking a chicken in a frozen state is that it is not recommended if you want to fry, grill or saute it.

How Not to Thaw Your Frozen Chicken?

Now that you have learned how to defrost chicken, here are some tips on how not to defrost chicken. It is good to know that you should never defrost a chicken using warm water or on the counter at a room temperature. In these cases, the chicken can get a source of bacteria, leading to food-borne illnesses. Also, don’t rinse the chicken under running water as you will just spread the bacteria around your kitchen. Who would want that?

How to Cook the Defrosted Chicken

1. Grilled Chicken and Strawberry Cobb Salad


  • 2 grilled and sliced chicken breasts
  • 2 sliced strawberries
  • 1 sliced avocado
  • ½ sliced red onion
  • 1 c. of cooked peas
  • 4 oz. of crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 head of torn Romaine Lettuce
  • 1 ½ of honey
  • 3 tbsp. of lime juice
  • 2 tsp. of lime zest
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil


  • Mix the honey, lime juice, lime zest and olive oil.
  • Place all the other ingredients in a large salad bowl.
  • Add salt and pepper.
  • Drizzle with dressing.

2. Lemony Chicken and Dill Soup


  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 8 c. low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 3 stalks of celery
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 c. pack of fresh baby spinach
  • ½ medium onion
  • 3 spring fresh thyme
  • 3 tbsp. of fresh dill
  • 2 tbsp. of olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Orzo
  • 2 tbsp. of lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. of lemon zest


  • Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat,
  • Add the onions, garlic, carrots, and celery to sauté it for a couple of minutes until the onions become soft.
  • Add the chicken, thyme, broth and bay leaves.
  • Season all the above-mentioned ingredients with salt and pepper on your wish.
  • Cover the pan and let it boil.
  • Reduce the heat and simmer it from time to time for about 30 minutes.
  • Throw away the thyme and bay leaves.
  • Remove the chicken and place it into a bowl so you can shred it into small pieces.
  • Stir the pasta into broth and let it cook for about 10 minutes.
  • Add the dill, baby spinach, lemon juice, lemon zest and the shredded chicken.
  • Season it with salt and pepper on your wish.
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